Thursday, August 02, 2007

I Give Up Tootsies...Both of You

I am really not one to complain about pain. I have a very high tolerance to pain that goes all the way back to my first experiences with pain. Childbirth. But, I am telling you that for the last several years I have experienced FOOT pain. I mean pain. I just lived with it for a couple of years and used it as a good excuse to not walk miles every night with my energetic friends. I finally went to the podiatrist last year. I loathe having to go to the dr. and if you know me you know I like to wait until the last minute to go seek medical advice. However, I really needed my feet to work. Painlessly. To carry my body to all the things I like to do without hobbling and grimacing. Plus, against my mother's advice I just couldn't give up all my cute heels ( or Barbie shoes ) and other inappropriate footwear for a person with foot pain. I learned to smile and prance. SO, I did have a condition called plantar facsiatis which probably means exruciating foot pain. There were 3 options for treatment.

1. Oral medication ( another Rx to take ) that contained steroids that would cause some (?) weight gain. I OPTED NO DEAL.
2. Surgery if it worsened and caused a spur. I would hate to wait for worsening!
3. Painful steroid injections in my feet at the sight of the painful areas. He did honestly mention the word painful. I thought, "C'mon. I have had 3 children, 2 heart attacks, 1 million sprained ankles (OUCH) because I am clumsy like that, 4 million cases of strep throat, a tonsillectomy, and other female type surgeries." This was an overweight man on a rolling dr. chair who had not walked a day in his life. What did he know about pain? "BRING IT ON" , I said. "I can take pain." Let me clarify that he knew what he was talking about. I lost count of the number of slowly administered injections I got on the soles of my little feet. Especially after I withered back against the paper table trying to act brave and ask for a bullet to bite on. Or a glass of something stronger than water. Or someone's hair to pull. But, it worked. Several days later I was pain free. Six months of no pain until a couple of months ago. DENIAL is my middle name. But, I think I may be about ready to call for another appointment.

The hot sand at the beach last week didn't work.

A lovely and HOT foot soak didn't work.

Rest didn't help. Did I say rest?

I think all my dreams of being a ballet dancer or just being coordinated are over. You may not have ever realized that I wanted to take ballet when I was younger. I think I just wanted to learn to walk without falling over curbs or invisible things. The being graceful part of ballet. It doesn't help my self image that my daughters are all dancers/ex cheerleaders/ marathon runners ! I always wanted to be like them when I grew up.

But, if I don't get my poor feet in shape I am going to look like this. As with all my other problems, I am going to go down swinging. Or scooting.


Snapshot said...

I had this after the birth of my second child and it was due to rapid weight gain (obviously not your problem. I thought I would die of the pain it got so bad. Walking to the bathroom in the middle of the night was AWFUL. My feet hurt so bad I couldn't stand it. I'd have to lightly walk on my tip toes and still it hurt so bad I wanted to cry.
But here are some tips that got me through and now I can walk like a normal person.
First of all, the fancy heels had to wait until a very special occasion. And then for only short periods of time.
BEFORE you ever set foot out of the bed in the mornings do the following. Massage your heels and flex your foot by bringing your toes back toward you. Resting actually makes the symptoms worse because it's inflammation and during the night it gets worse and oh so tender.
Regularly during the day, massage your heels and arches.
Now for the bad part. Shoes....I had to give in a wear really good, really expensive shoes that gave me great arch support. Birkenstocks became my foot uniform. I found they came in some really cute designs and after I got used to them, I preferred them to other kinds of shoes.
Going barefoot is a NO NO! No flat, non-supporting house slippers either. No flat flip flops. That allows for your arch to totally relax and that causes the inflammation to get worse and worse, thus causing more and more pain.
I also took to wearing those low cut (no show) arch supporting socks to bed at night.
Now, all that is horrible and no fun, but now the pain is gone, my feet are healed and I can wear all the shoes I want.
If I have a flair up from time to time, I just take to wearing my Birks all the time for a while.
I'm so sorry this is happening to you. It's so painful.

Lynn said...

Great advice, I know. I bet that the reason I am having so much pain now is the barefoot/flip flop issue of summer! I never realized that. Thanks Snapshot.

Heather said...

Oh, sorry about your little feet. I know they kill you on a regular basis! Now, stop buying your shoes at Payless and get you some SAS~QUICK!! HA just jokin....

I love you

mindy tyndall said...

Okay, the similarities between us seem uncanny. I, too, have this problem but my sweet doctor injects lidocaine before giving me the shots. That helps alot!!!! I love to go barefoot...a no-no; wear flip-flops...a no-no; used to wear heels, but when my back got so bad, I had to give those up too. I am on my feet so much now that I really need to get a good pair of shoes. Some of this getting older stuff stinks, huh? I hope your feet feel better somehow, soon!!

Giggi said...

Ouch! If it makes you feel better Whit & her friends wore birkenstocks for school shoes. So see its not such an old thing...Time to invest in good shoes! Not more quanity over quality! I hope you feel better soon!